Lucas Pouille (28, 380th) won this Sunday in qualifying for a Challenger tournament in Thailand his first match since the beginning of May.
Almost four years ago, Lucas Pouille played in the Australian Open semi-finals against Novak Djokovic. This Sunday, to start 2023, the former French No. 1 played the first round of the Challenger tournament in Nonthaburi, Thailand. The Northerner, who will turn 29 next February, fell very low in the standings, due to this right elbow which ruined several seasons for him, and which required an operation in July 2020. This victory this Sunday against Jacopo Berrettini (24 years old, 892nd, brother of Matteo) with a score of 7-5, 7-5 in 1h45, breaking at 6-5 in both sets, was quite simply his first since May 2! At the time, Pouille was 174th in the world and had obtained an invitation to compete in the Masters 1000 in Madrid. He had then beaten Karen Kachanov from the start. But he then lost his six matches in 2022: in the second round in Madrid against Tsitsipas, at the Challenger de Bordeaux against M.Cuevas, at Lyon against Otte, at Roland-Garros against Kolar, at the Challenger de Nottingham against Escoffier and at the Challenger d ‘Ilkley versus Brouwer. We had not seen him on the circuit since this defeat of June 14, and he therefore fell to 380th in the world rank.
Paris 2024 objective for Puglia
“I was bothered by somewhat boring health problems last June, which have not allowed me to train since. I hit the ball again for the first time in five months on Wednesday morning, at the CNE, with Pierre-Hugues (Herbert)”, explained Pouille on December 16th. The former world No. 10 (in March 2018) has also gone through dark times: “There were ups and downs. Lots of bottoms. A bit of… not depression, but demoralization. Coming back after the elbow injury, then having to start again on something long, stopping again. There was in my head, in June, July, a moment when it was completely cut off. It was a somewhat indeterminate stop. “Now cured and virtually winner of five places thanks to this success of this Sunday, Lucas Pouille has set himself the objective of going back into the Top 50 to qualify for the Paris Olympic Games. He has a year and a half to get there. This will already go through a victory over the American Alfredo Perez (506th) on Monday to pass the qualification milestone in Nonthaburi.